Jeff Teague low-key knocks Dwyane Wade’s legacy with latest comments about James Harden

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Jeff Teague’s comments concerning who he views as the greatest players of all time are being seen by some as a slap at the legacy of Miami Heat icon Dwyane Wade.

On the Club 520 podcast last month, Teague ranked James Harden above Wade in his ranking of the top five shooting guards of all time and stated that Harden is better.

Teague then explained his stance during an interview with Complex.

“When James was James, he was giving you 30-8-11,” Teague said. “Prime D-Wade gets you 36 and five, then James had years where he averaged 34 or 36. It’s kind of crazy. I just don’t think people were putting enough respect on James. It feels like people are acting like I said D-Wade as a bum or something. D-Wade is a GOAT, but I think James Harden is up there. He just don’t have the rings to show for it, but rings don’t matter to me. When I go to the park, I see a little kid playing like James Harden. I don’t really see little kids playing like D-Wade. Not now.”

During Wade’s Hall of Fame career, he was part of three NBA title teams. The second of those three championships came against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012, with Harden a member of that team.

In contrast to Wade’s accomplishments, Harden’s NBA career has been marked by continuous postseason failure. That 2012 trip to the finals marks the only time that one of Harden’s four NBA teams has even reached the championship round.

Following that trip to the 2012 NBA Finals, Harden was dealt to the Houston Rockets in a blockbuster deal. The Rockets came close to reaching the finals, but ultimately ended up trading Harden to the Brooklyn Nets.

Joining a team that already had Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, Harden’s addition seemingly put the Nets in prime position to win a championship. Instead, the team came up short and Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.

During the two postseasons that Harden has been a part of with the 76ers, the team has come up short. That included the 2023 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics.

In that series, Harden twice scored over 40 points to give the Sixers two wins in the back-and-forth series. However, in the do-or-die Game 7, Harden flopped by scoring just nine points on 3-of-11 from the field and 1-of-5 from beyond the arc.

The end result was that the 76ers lost to the Celtics in a rout. In the ensuing months, Harden has since asked to be traded.

During his final NBA season in 2021, Teague was finally part of a championship team with the Milwaukee Bucks. In truth, Teague’s contributions were modest, though unlike Harden, he does have a championship ring.

Wade really has no reason to try to defend his legacy, with Heat fans forever grateful that he was a central part of the franchise’s three titles. In the decades ahead, his reputation will remain stellar, while Harden still faces the possibility of having never won a championship.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.